Useful hebrew language site
SAFFA, which in Hebrew means language, is a very useful software for learning biblical as well as modern Hebrew. It has text to speech functionality, gives grammatical information, and has a parallel Hebrew/English Old Testament using the American Standard Translation. A demo can be downloaded at www.hebrewworks.com/index.htm
Computer voice vs. human voice
I agree with the computer voice assessment. Personally I use SAFFA along with a 'human voice'. I have the full Tanakh (Hebrew Old Testament) spoken by a native Israeli on 4 CD's in MP3 format. The pronounciation is perfect! And, because the tracks are digitized you can listen one verse at a time, one chapter at a time, or whatever. The website if you are interested is http://www.hebrewworld.com/SpeakingBible.html It's the only source of its kind. There is another spoken Hebrew Bible but it is not by an Israeli but by someone who learned Hebrew. Check it out. It's worth your time. With WinXP you can listen via the Media Player,minimize the Media Player and read the bible text with SAFFA. When you want to pause and look the grammatical form of a word in SAFFA, simply use the pause function of your Media Player. In a short time you'll be working the two softwares almost without thinking.
Abraham Shmueloff's pronunciation
The pronunciation of the Hebrew OT on Audio Scriptures is top quality. Abraham Shmueloff (the narrator) is a native Israeli, so he speaks perfect Hebrew. He also seems to be a cantor, as some sections of the OT are available chanted. He pronounces the different Hebrew letters (aleph, ayin, he, chet, etc.) 100% correctly, meaning that you can tell the difference (unlike many Israelis in Israel today). The recordings are crystal clear, with no background noise, etc. He also has a narration of the Hebrew New Testament available.
Originally Posted by Gontroppo
However, most of the chapters on Audio Scriptures are done incorrectly, and the last verse or two of each chapter is cut off. They are now in the process of re-doing all the chapter downloads.
The other recording (available from Hebrew World and from the Centre for the Blind in Netanya, Israel) are done by Shlomo Bertonov and he also is an Israeli. So he reads Hebrew perfectly too. There are a few other recordings on the Internet, but these are done by Americans whose first language is English. (You might not be able to tell if you don't know Hebrew well, but if you have lived in Israel and learned Hebrew there, it is easy to tell the difference).
Happy listening. Hearing the Hebrew being narrated as you read the text yourself is the best way to become fluent in reading Hebrew, and you can make rapid progress.
Useful Hebrew language site
Your information is certainly useful. I knew of the existence of this site but was not aware of their solving the isuue regarding the chapter division. If you follow this link http://www.carmel.asso.fr/atelierduc...rewbible.shtml you will see that Abraham Shmueloff was a (Catholic) priest and so not a cantor although he does sing the Hebrew scriptures well. I find the pronunciation of Shmueloff to be that which is called the Ashkenazi or European accent, while Bertonov has a Sephardic or Eastern accent. Both are better than mine so I've no complaints!